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Newly Released Video Shows Rioters Storming Door at Capitol; January 6th Panel Subpoenas Trump Allies Stone, Alex Jones; Soon, Prosecution Rebuttal to Defenses' Closing Arguments. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired November 23, 2021 - 07:00   ET




BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN NEW DAY: Don McLean's American Pie has been de- throned by Miss Americana herself, Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift's ten-minute version of perhaps her greatest song, All Too Well, is now the longest number one hit of all time, according the Billboard. American Pie held the spot since it first landed on the charts in 1972.

So, that begs a question, John Berman, which song is better?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY: They're both very good. They're both strong songs. And I say that having never heard the Taylor Swift song. But I know if I say something bad about it, that my Twitter account will never exist again, as I know it. So, they're both wonderful, wonderful songs.

KEILAR: Look, I'm a Swiftie. I really am. It's just that song, it's so iconic. But, look, they're both beautiful songs. She's iconic too.

BERMAN: I'm told that's the case. All I'll say is like, ten minutes, if you're a grateful dead fan, that's a 45. That's like two seconds on the radio. Ten minutes is short song if you're a grateful dead fan. So, I'm not impressed.

KEILAR: Yes. But these ones are on the charts, I'm just saying.

BERMAN: Does that really?

KEILAR: Does it matter? Maybe.

All right, New Day continues right now.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Brianna Keilar with John Berman. And it is Tuesday, November 23rd.

Some new video just released from the Justice Department shows a dramatic clash between police and rioters trying to breach the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.

That is silent video, a closed-circuit video there. Police seen trying to block the mob of insurrectionists from storming a security door as it is being lowered. You saw one rioter there hurling a trash can at an officer. Another sprayed some kind of liquid from a can at police. Outnumbered, the officers ended up falling back as rioters began to pour through.

At least one of the rioters, armed with a baseball bat here. Another with what looks like an ax handle.

BERMAN: Yes, just a peaceful protest, just a normal tour through the Capitol there, as they're throwing that large ashtray at law enforcement.

KEILAR: Yes. It's -- you know, I will say, we see new video all the time, right? I think it's something we kind of get used to it. But there's also something in particular about this one, where you can see that they were trying to cordon off this area. And they're just met by this incredible force. And it's the bear spray, what appears to be some sort of bear spray or pepper spray, that really gets me. You see the desperation of the officers. It's terrible.

BERMAN: There's no question as to the motivation there either.

Also developing this morning, the January 6th committee is out with a new round of subpoenas, including two big names, GOP operative Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. This latest batch indicates the committee continues to focus in part on organizers and funding of the Stop the Steal rallies on January 6th and the days leading up to it.

Joining me is ABC News Chief Correspondent Jonathan Karl. His book, Betrayal, The Final Act of the Trump Show, is out, and it is phenomenal, with a whole bunch of revelations. Jonathan, so great to see you back here at CNN, even though I saw you at ABC first.

Listen, these subpoenas, these five new subpoenas, what do you see as the significance here?

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're clearly looking at not just those that were directly involved in invading the Capitol that day but those that had a role in inspiring and potentially organizing those to go and, not just -- you know, it is important to point out, when you look at the video you just showed, it's shocking, it's horrifying, like so much of the other video we have seen.


But this was more than just an assault on police officers. It was more than just breaking into the Capitol. It was more than vandalism. It was more than all of that. It was directly an effort to stop American democracy, to stop the transition of power, the peaceful transition of power, and that's what this gets into. Because you mentioned Roger Stone, Alex Jones, these were the ones spinning up the conspiracy theories but also rallying people to do something to overturn the results of the presidential election and take matters into their own hands. BERMAN: And we know that because they told us. Let's listen to Alex Jones, one of the things he said, I believe, this is from January 5th.


ALEX JONES, FOUNDER, INFOWARS: I don't know how this is going to end. Whether they want a fight, they better believe they've got one.


BERMAN: They got a fight -- I'll translate to English. If they want a fight, they better believe they have got one, Jonathan.

KARL: And also let's not forget the other guy. Donald Trump was speaking the morning of January 6th, saying, fight like hell, and saying, you know, take your country back. Take those words for what they are. And look at what Steve Bannon -- and I know you've played it many times here on New Day. Steve Bannon on January 5th also telling his listeners, Trump supporters, that this was their time in history, this was their moment, all hell was going to break loose. I mean, what exactly does that mean? That doesn't mean a peaceful march up to the Capitol.

BERMAN: David Frum, who has been on with us, Jonathan, says something interesting about all this. He says, for all the investigating about things that we don't know, isn't there enough that happened in broad daylight that we do know, that illustrates exactly what happened? I mean, what more do you need when you have the president speaking like he did that day, the former president, when you have Alex Jones, when you have Steve Bannon there, when you have the former president telling you in an interview, basically that he looks back somewhat fondly on that day?

KARL: I mean, somewhat fondly? If you go and listen, and that's why I put the audio out, so it wouldn't just be the words on a page, but the way Donald Trump looks back on January 6th is it was one of the finest days, in his mind, of his entire presidency. He told me that it was a crowd larger than any crowd he had ever spoken before. He told me there were more than a million people that showed up. Neither one of those statements are true. But he saw this as a day where people finally came out to fight for him.

Now, he did say in the interview that it was marred a little later on. That was the closest he came to saying there was anything wrong that happened on January 6th. But you're right, the record is out there in public. It's not just those words. It's not just the words of people like Alex Jones and Steve Bannon on January 5th. It's the entire drum beat leading up to that day, where Donald Trump was trying to do -- use all means necessary, trying to threaten the secretary of state in Georgia, all on tape, bringing in legislative leaders in those states, especially the legislative leaders in Michigan were brought into the Oval Office and instructed to overturn the results in Michigan, set a new batch of electoral votes, his efforts to work with Jeffrey Clark, to use the power of the Justice Department to overturn the election, the efforts that are revealed in my book to get the Pentagon involved in chasing down crazy conspiracy theories. This was a multi-prong effort. Much of it is out there in the public. But, John, I do think that there is more to learn, and I think that, in some ways, all that we have seen in Betrayal and some of the other investigative reporting, including excellent investigative reporting on CNN, is a prelude to what this January 6th committee has the potential to learn. They have subpoena power. Of course, you and I don't.

BERMAN: Mark Meadows, you focus on Mark Meadows, and you broke some serious news about Mark Meadows, how forward it on yet another insurrection blueprint from Attorney Jenna Ellis about how Mike Pence could stop the certification of the election, basically, on January 6th. You think there's much more to find out about Mark Meadows. What do you mean?

KARL: Well, I do. And let me give you one example. One thing that I kind of deconstruct what happened with that phone call with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in Georgia, how the call came about, it was, as you recall, a Saturday. It came right after Raffensperger had appeared on a Fox television show. And he got -- there was a call by Molly Michael, the personal secretary to the president, to the general press line at the secretary of state's office in Georgia.


And, eventually, Raffensperger's deputy got a hold of Meadows and wanted to know, is this a real call you left on a voicemail? And Meadows was quite upset. Meadows said, we've been trying to reach out to you 18 different times, and you've ignored our inquiries. And what they realized -- they said, what are you talking about? What they realized is Raffensperger himself had been receiving text messages from a Gmail account, Mark Meadows' Gmail account, that he thought was certainly a prank. His number had been put out on the internet, getting all kinds of prank calls.

So, Mark Meadows was reaching out to a top official in Georgia on a private Gmail account. I want to know what else was going on with his private Gmail account, but he was at the intersection of everything, John. And I know that John Ratcliffe, the director of National Intelligence, I read about how he got just crazy phone calls on his personal cell phone from Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani and, ultimately, the conclusion that he had was it was Mark Meadows that gave out his personal cell phone number to those two, to the top intelligence official in the country. What else was Mark Meadows up to?

BERMAN: And will we ever find out, because he will fight this appearance as long as he possibly can, citing executive privilege.

Jonathan, I want to focus on a couple things in your book that haven't been talked about too much because they're really interesting. You write about a meeting that you had in the Oval Office. At that point, were you head of the White House Correspondents' Association? So you were head. And you went in with Zeke Miller, another reporter, right, to talk to then-President Trump, because he was sort of musing about the possibility of going to the White House Correspondents dinner. And you write about this conversation. The former president says, Jonathan is very cool, he told Zeke Miller. He is like my son. Trump then proceeded to reenact a conversation with his son. Do you love your dad? I don't know. But he does. But he's too cool, the kids. Donald Trump would seem he was comparing me to his teenage son, Barron, and he was comparing my lack of excitement about his possible appearance at the White House Correspondents dinner with his son's reluctance to say out loud that he loved him.

KARL: I mean, this was -- there have been many surreal moments, so I can't say that it was the most but it was certainly in the top five. I got summoned along with my fellow leaders of the White House Correspondents Association to the Oval Office the day after Super Tuesday. So, this is the beginning of March. It's a week before the world shuts down, United States shuts down because of the pandemic. And Trump is -- I was told the subject was the White House Correspondents dinner.

Just a wild scene because, first of all, they bring us into the Oval Office and then leave to go and get Trump to bring him in. So, we're standing there alone in the Oval Office for a good few minutes and looking around, figuring, are we being taped, is this a test, what are we supposed to do here? But Trump came in and we met with him for about an hour. He was clearly very seriously -- or wanted us to think that he was seriously considering finally making an appearance at the White House Correspondents dinner.

I had announced the entertainment. It was a really, you know, good lineup. We had Kenan Thompson of SNL. We had -- Hasan Minhaj was going to give a presentation. And he -- you know, I hadn't even invited the guy. I wasn't sure I wanted to invite him. He had called the press the enemy of the people. But I also felt if he wanted to come, we would -- of course, he is the president of the United States, they've always come to these dinners. But I was not going to beg him. And I wasn't even going to actually ask him. I just said, we respect your decision. If you want to come, you're welcome to you. If you don't want to come, that's fine. And that's where the whole bizarre exchange, where he's talking about his son not wanting to say he loves him.

BERMAN: It is odd, to say the least. And, by the way, he has an hour to spend with you, and the pandemic is breaking out all over the world, and that's interesting too.

Very quickly, Deputy Chief of Staff Chris Liddell, you also write extensively about there was almost this shadow transition that he was conducting, even when Donald Trump didn't want to conduct the transition.

KARL: Yes. I think this is a really important story and an unknown story, largely unknown story. Chris Liddell was the person in charge of the transition from the Trump side. He got appointed to that job early in 2020, before the election. And he was a deputy chief of staff. He had worked for Donald Trump the entire four years. He started on day one. He was there right until the very end.

And he conducted basically a clandestine operation out of a little office on the second floor of the west wing, where he was the one official in that White House in regular communication with the Biden transition team, doing what is required by law, by the way, to facilitate a transition.


But he never once told Donald Trump about it. He did brief Meadows about and Meadows okayed it. So, that's important to point out. But he never once talked to Donald Trump.

And also there was Tony Ornato, who was the deputy chief of staff for operations, also did the same thing later closer to January 20th for the transition, worked with Jen O'Malley Dillon, who now has that job in the Biden White House, was the campaign manager, and facilitated an actual transition, which is why January -- for all that happened on January 6th, January 20th, it is something of a miracle, I write. And I truly believe, that January 20th happened the way it did and happened in a peaceful way.

BERMAN: Jonathan Karl, the book is Betrayal. It is wonderful. I love you. I'm not afraid to say it even if Donald Trump's children are afraid to say it to their father. I'm not afraid --

KARL: Thank you, John. It's good to be with you again. It's been too long.

BERMAN: So, coming up, live courtroom action here on New Day, as the prosecution for the trial of the men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery, they will issue their rebuttal.

KEILAR: And new overnight, yet another smash and grab robbery at a high-end department store.

Plus, raw emotion from the daughter of a man just cleared of a crime that he didn't commit after a seven decade legal battle.



KEILAR: We're watching verdicts in two high-profile trials in America. In Georgia, the jury will soon begin deliberating the fate of three men charged with killing Ahmaud Arbery. In Charlottesville, Virginia, it is day three of deliberations in the civil trial of white nationalists and far-right groups who organized the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally.

Let's go first to CNN's Ryan Young. He is live for us on the ground in Brunswick, Georgia. This is another really pivotal day today, Ryan.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is. Good morning, Brianna. Of course, the prosecution will have their chance to do the rebuttal. That could take up to two hours. But I can tell you, yesterday, people were shocked about how the defense really leaned into some racial ideas, especially when it came to talking about Ahmaud's toes.


YOUNG (voice over): In just hours, the jury is expected to begin deliberations in the trial of three men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery. Before they start, the prosecution will have one more turn to give a rebuttal to the defense's case, and their final effort to convince jurors Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and William Bryan are responsible for Arbery's death.

LINDA DUNIKOSKI, LEAD PROSECUTOR: The state's position is all three of these defendants made assumptions, made assumptions about what was going on that day, and they made their decision to attack Ahmaud Arbery in their driveways because he was a black man running down the street.

YOUNG: In her closing argument for the state, Lead Prosecutor Linda Dunikoski said, the three men had no reason to chase Arbery down while he was jogging on a street outside of Brunswick, Georgia, last year.

DUNIKOSKI: They're trying to convince you that Ahmaud Arbery was the attacker, that he was somehow threatening to them, three-on-one, two pickup trucks, two guns, Mr. Arbery, nothing in his pockets, not a cell phone, not a gun, not even an I.D.

YOUNG: Along with arguing against self-defense claims, the prosecution says the three men could not justify making a citizen's arrest. Dunikoski reminding jurors of the law.

DUNIKOSKI: A citizen's arrest is for emergency situations when the crime really happens right in front of you, and you can take action right then and there to arrest somebody.

It is not a citizen's arrest. They never said it. None of the defendants saw Mr. Arbery commit any crime that day.

YOUNG: The defense attorney for Travis McMichael, the man who shot and killed Arbery, pushing back.

JASON SHEFFIELD, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You do have the right to perform a citizen's arrest. You do have the right to have a firearm when you make an arrest. You do have the right to stop a person and to hold them and to detain them for the police. And there is risk with that. And there are tragic consequences that can come from that.

YOUNG: Jason Sheffield telling jurors McMichael was defending himself after he says he saw Arbery trespassing at a construction site of a home in the weeks ahead of the fatal shooting, his client the only one to take the stand last week.

SHEFFIELD: He told you about the thefts and the burglaries, the totality of the facts, why he believed what he did, that he wanted to follow him, that he wanted to talk to him, that he wanted to stop him for the police to detain him. Don't be fooled by this word arrest. You don't have to announce you're under arrest.

YOUNG: Both McMichaels and Bryan are charged with malice felony murder in connection to Arbery's death, as well as charges of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit a felony. They have pled not guilty. Defense attorneys for each of the three men making their own closing arguments Monday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are ready to proceed with closing arguments. Mr. Gough?

YOUNG: Kevin Gough argued Arbery would have been killed anyway, regardless of whether his client, Bryan, was at the scene.

KEVIN GOUGH, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Roddie Bryan's presence is absolutely superfluous and irrelevant to the tragic death of Ahmaud Arbery.

YOUNG: Bryan filmed the disturbing video showing the fatal shooting. His lawyer says there would be no case without the footage.

GOUGH: The inconvenient truth is that Roddie Bryan did not know and could not know that these men were armed until moments before Mr. Arbery's tragic death.


At the time of the shooting, he was some distance back. He was armed only with his cell phone.

YOUNG: Greg McMichael's lawyer also focused on depicting Arbery as an intruder.

LAURA HOGUE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Turning Ahmaud Arbery into a victim after the choices that he made does not reflect the reality of what brought Ahmaud Arbery to Satilla Shores in his khaki shorts, with no socks, to cover his long, dirty toenails.

YOUNG: Arbery's mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, left the courtroom after this comment.

WANDA COOPER-JONES, MOTHER OF AHMAUD ARBERY: That was just beyond rude. Regardless of what kind of toenails he had, what size legs he had, that was still my son. And my son actually was running for his life in that description.


YOUNG (on camera): And, Brianna, I can tell you, a lot of people were upset by those comments, especially since Ahmaud is dead. So, they really didn't understand why the defense had to go in that far and bring that up in this trial.

Also, I want to tell you about the scene yesterday. We had people show up with long weapons who marched around the courthouse, and at one point, even came in contact with the defense attorneys. That really prompted Kevin Gough to walk in and ask for another mistrial, which the judge basically was like, no, that's not going to happen. So, all these things are playing out as the tension rises.

Hopefully today when court starts at 8:00, we'll get closer to the ending. Brianna? KEILAR: I mean, listening to that, I think we all understood very well what she was trying to do. The question will be, is that something that resonates with the jury, or is it rejected? Ryan, thank you so much for that report from Georgia. I really appreciate it.

BERMAN: So, just into CNN, smack and grab robbers striking again in California overnight. Los Angeles Police say a mob of at least 20 suspects tried to break into a Nordstrom at the Grove Shopping Center, smashing a window with a sledgehammer. The suspects fled and at least four vehicles prompting a high-speed police chase.

Now, video from Saturday night shows some 80 suspects in ski masks that police say ransacked a Nordstrom near San Francisco. And last week, another group stole $120,000 worth of merchandise from a Louis Vuitton in Illinois.

So, we do have breaking news. We're learning that President Biden is set to announce that he will release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help lower gas prices. The White House joins us live, coming up.

KEILAR: And a judge has now exonerated four young black men wrongly accused of rape more than 70 years ago. The daughter of one of those men is going to join us next.